Cruising Down The Nile

Egyptian culture was inseparable from the Nile River.  It was a source of water, provided fertile soils for agriculture, fish were a ready protein supply, and the bullrushes that grew along its banks provided material for baskets, floor mats, and other Egyptian stuff.

But heck, you gotta suppose that Egyptians used it for fun too.  Swimming might not have been a great idea because the Nile was home to crocodiles but how about hopping in the family yacht and going for a cruise.  Egyptians must have done that.  And one of the objects in our museum’s Egyptian exhibit is a large (4-feet long) wooden model of an Egyptian boat, complete with several people standing on deck.  It seemed that sketching it was the right thing to do.  Hope you like it.

Fabriano Artistico cold-press, DeAtramentis Document Black, Pilot Metropolitan F

Fabriano Artistico cold-press, DeAtramentis Document Black, Pilot Metropolitan F

Street Sketching On January 8th

Part of the reason for this blog’s existence is to give me a place to document my sketching journey.  Today is a day of recording, not one of presenting good sketches.

I was out for a walk yesterday, in Quebec City, where January high temperatures average around 20F (-7C).  Of course, the low temps are, well lower.  So typically, street sketching doesn’t happen in January.

But as I walked, on the 8th of January, I realized just how warm it was as I took my hat and gloves off because I was overheating.  Some minutes later I came upon one of the impressive old mansions here and I decided to see if I could do a quick-sketch while standing on the sidewalk, in January.

2016-01-08house

I grabbed my 4×6 toned paper sketchbook and went at it, very quickly, and very loosely trying to capture the house’s complex structure.  I failed miserably but it didn’t matter.  I had sketched on location, outdoors, in January.  I’ve joked with a few climate change denialists that I was planning on selling citrus and palm trees to the residents of Quebec City in the not so distant future.  Maybe I was right.

Since that sketch is so poor, I’ll try to improve the esthetics of the post by showing you my latest “mustache book,”  As much as I love these little books, the felt glasses and mustaches glued to the cover leave much to be desired so I glued one of my sketches to the cover and then covered it with laminating material.  What’cha think?

MustacheNotebook48

 

January Croquistes De Quebec Sketchcrawl

Built over 200 hears ago as the city's first prison, the Morrin Centre now also houses one of the world's most beautiful libraries, Vieux Quebec, Quebec City, QC, Canada

Built over 200 years ago as the city’s first prison, the Morrin Centre now also houses one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, Vieux Quebec, Quebec City, QC, Canada

I’m a bit late in announcing this and for that I apologize.  Holidays have messed with my internal clock.  The next Croquistes de Quebec sketchcrawl will be held at the Morrin Center library.  Yvan went above and beyond to allow us to sketch there.

If you’re not familiar with the Morrin Center it’s the home of the Literary and Historical Society of Québec, an anglophone organization.  The crowning jewel of this organization is its library, which, with large, leather-covered rectory tables, bookshelf-lined balconies and tight winding stairways, is Quebec’s version of the Hogwarts library, without the book that scream at you.

Unlike most of our sketchcrawls, this one will be in the afternoon only, from 1PM to 4PM.  You can get details of the event from the Croquistes’ website.  I’ve never gotten to sketch there so I’m looking forward to it.  See you there.

A Day At The Chapel

When I talk about “our museum” I’m generally referring to the Musée de la Civilisation in Quebec City.  But we do have other, much smaller museums, one of them being the Musée de l’Amérique francophone. This small museum exhibits are mostly disappointing as while they have considerable display space, it is very poorly utilized and the exhibits are…well boring. 

2015-12-27steepleBut, with winter upon us, Yvan and I decided we should visit and see if we could find something to sketch.  We did, though not in the museum.  Between the museum entrance and the exhibits is a chapel that you walk through to get to the elevator that takes you to the exhibits.  There, you can sit in the warmth of the place, look out the window and sketch.  That’s what I did to sketch this quick drawing of the tower over one of the old seminary buildings (not the Université Laval Dept of Architecture).

What really drew our interest, however, were all the small decorative carvings that ring the main chapel area.  These are handcarved floral designs, with lots of symmetry, curves, and details.  To Yvan, this means fun challenge.  To me it means scary, but a good kind of scary.

We decided that we would draw a bunch of these as it would form good practice.  I admit that I struggled with this first one but I also enjoyed the mental challenge of depicting a piece that is largely symmetrical but that also has a sprinkling of asymmetry due to the vagaries of its handcarved nature.  Can’t wait to go back to do more.  I’m hoping I”ll improve my use of watercolor shading on subsequent sketches.

Decorative carving

Quick Stop At The Coffee Shop

I was out for a walk today and stopped into a coffee shop for a quick cup of coffee.  In a time when everyone is paying $5 for their fancy, five-word named coffees, it must seem odd to the barista when I just say cafe noir when I’m asked what I want.  But they give it to me anyway and I don’t even have to stand in line with everyone else who are waiting for the steam machine to produce their orders.  Then again, they get fancy stuff drawn in the foam of their drink and I don’t.

I sat down, drank some coffee and looked out the window.  I decided to draw an old guy who was sitting on the opposite side of the room but before I was very far along he got up and left.  One must pick targets wisely and I hadn’t.  I continued, trying to complete his shape as best I could but eventually I gave up when it came to his extremities.  Instead I drew the lamp over his head and then, back to looking outside, I drew the street light.  A bit of fun and a bit of coffee.  It was time to walk some more.

2015-12-23brulerie